About Us

The Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT has a dedicated team working to ensure that your training with us is well supported and student focused.

Our central team is based in dedicated offices in The Suthers Building on the Toot Hill School campus in Bingham.

In addition to the central team, you will be working closely with individual subject mentors and other professionals within the organisation throughout your training.

The Central Team

Treena PhilpottsDirector of SCITT and Early Career Teachers and International Schools' Partnership

Treena has 20 years of experience working and teaching in primary and secondary schools. She began her career as a teacher of Physical Education and Geography working in a variety of schools in the West Midlands . She developed her experience in teacher training as a regional teacher trainer for the Sandwell then Rushcliffe Sports Partnership and later became Head of PE at Toot Hill School.

In more recent years in her role as a Strategic School Leader, she had responsibility for Continuing Professional Development of teachers, delivering the National Professional Qualification Leadership courses and developing MA research and development.

Treena now works within the Nova Education Trust as Director of the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT and Teaching School Alliance leading teacher professional development across all career stages.

Shelly GeesonDeputy Director of SCITT and Early Career Teachers

Shelly qualified as a primary school teacher in 2004 and has taught across Key Stage 1 and 2, including the Foundation Stage. The majority of her teaching experience has been in Nottingham City. Her previous Senior Leadership Roles include English Coordinator, SENDCo and a KS2 Lead, where she has also supported and mentored students, NQTs and RQTs.

In the last year, Shelly has worked in partnership with the UoN to support their Primary School Direct Programme and is currently working as the Deputy Director for SCITT, responsible for managing and implementing the Primary Programme and developing our Primary Partnerships. In addition to this, she has written and delivered CPD courses for the Nova Academy Trust for Middle Leadership and RQT Training.

Rachel RimmingtonSCITT Administration Manager

Rachel is the first port of call for any enquiries you might have about School Centred Initial Teacher Training or School Direct.

She has been working with the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT since September 2014.

Please feel free to give her a call or email her with any queries or questions you might have and she will be able to assist.

Rebecca Morgan-JonesPastoral, Wellbeing, and Recruitment Lead

Rebecca started her education career in Art and Design in 2002. She started teaching in Manchester, moving to an inner city school in Nottingham in 2003. From there she moved to Toot Hill to become the performance director of the Art and Design department.

Moving from departmental responsibilities to whole school, Rebecca became an associate school leader, responsible for NQT, RQT, ITT, PGCE and School Direct provision across the trust. She worked closely with the universities to give the best support, training and experience to trainees and staff who were beginning their career in education. In addition, Rebecca was involved in devising yearly whole school CPD programmes for the all staff specific to where they were in their career. She also delivered middle leadership training across the trust.

Rebecca has always been very interested in staff well-being which lead her to train to be a mind-set coach. She has written and delivered wellbeing sessions to pupils, trainees and staff across the trust.

As well as being a senior lead tutor on the Nottingham Torch SCITT, Rebecca is working for Nova Education as a system support leader. This role involves her going into schools that may require more support in relation to teaching and learning.

Katie WilsonQuality of Curriculum and Development Lead for Primary (Secondment)

Katie is a Deputy Headteacher of an over-subscribed Church of England primary school. She began her career in 2008 after completing her English degree as a teaching assistant and sports coach, before quickly gaining QTS. She has taught in several schools across Nottinghamshire before moving into Cambridgshire.

Previously, she has held leadership positions in English, mathematics, physical education, religious education, KS2 and whole-school curriculum design, as well as mentoring trainees and leading on teacher development across schools.

Katie has a strong commitment to excellent teaching and teacher development, and is evidence-informed in her practice. She works closely with schools beyond her own context, writing and delivering training and working in collaboration on exciting projects.

She has driven change and improvement in the schools that she has worked in and is a strong advocate for leading by example.

As a former pupil of Toot Hill School, Katie recognises that teachers can have a huge impact on their students’ futures, which has inspired her to join the Torch Scitt and make a wider contribution towards the teachers of the future— and their pupils.

Katie has joined our team as a Quality of Training and Curriculum Lead for the primary SCITT programme from September 2021.

Helen TempleQuality of Curriculum and Development Lead for Secondary (Secondment)

Prior to teaching, Helen had a successful career in the theatre industry where she led the creative learning agenda for the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, working with young people across youth justice, community, informal and formal education settings. During her time at the National Youth Theatre, she played an integral role in developing an innovative, accredited drama qualification for young people at risk of offending. It was at this point that Helen came to the conclusion that education had the power to transform the life chances of the most vulnerable in society and subsequently retrained to become a secondary English teacher in 2012.

Since training, Helen has worked in an inner-city Nottingham secondary with a high proportion of disadvantaged pupils, where she has taught across Key Stage 3 and 4. Her previous leadership roles have included coordinating programmes for Newly Qualified Teachers and Recently Qualified Teachers and supporting Initial Teacher Trainees.

Helen has joined our team as a Quality of Training and Curriculum Lead for the Secondary SCITT programme from September 2021.

Primary Tutors

Ria BaileyPrimary Tutor

Ria has over 15 years’ experience working in Primary Education, in schools throughout Nottinghamshire. Predominantly in KS1, a large proportion of that time has been spent in Early Years. Ria has lead various subjects in school, including PE, PSHE and more recently has begun more focussed work on Diversity within the curriculum, and the wider school environment. Ria has mentored students from NTU for many years, supporting students at different stages of their ITT and more recently she has worked as a mentor with the Torch SCITT.

Marie AllenPrimary Tutor

Marie has over 20 years of teaching experience in Primary schools, working in the UK, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

She has led a range of subjects in school, including English, religious education and the arts, and also participated in the implementation of the Primary Years Programme in a newly formed I.B school in Abu Dhabi. She has mentored trainees from many universities as well as supporting newly and recently qualified teachers.

Liz BoyerPrimary Tutor and EYFS Lead Practitioner

Liz is a passionate Primary Deputy Head Teacher with 17 years in education and a love of supporting ITT and ECT to understand pedagogical processes and create inspirational teaching experiences. She recently completed NPQH and has carried out whole school impact projects in a variety of areas such as mastery mathematics, early reading and phonics and developing subject leaders. In her current Deputy Head position in the Independent sector, she continues to teach and has a proven record of outstanding classroom practice with a particular specialism in the Early Years Foundation Stage and KS1. She also works with an agency and continues to teach across a wide demographic of schools and key stages throughout Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Liz joins the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT in 2021 as a Primary Tutor and will also facilitate elements of the ITT programme as the EYFS Lead practitioner.

David Owen-JonesPrimary Tutor

David has been a Primary Teacher for over 10 years and has been leading maths for the last 6. In the last 4 years he has become a Teaching for Mastery Specialist, working alongside the NCETM Maths Hub in the East Midlands East. Part of this role was running work groups in more than 20 schools, working alongside staff to develop their Teaching for Mastery ethos. David was also part of the England-China Teacher exchange programme in 2018 and hosted the Chinese teachers on the return part of the exchange.

Michael LangdonPrimary Tutor

Ben PickeringPrimary Tutor

Ben has been working in primary schools for over five years and currently leads Science and Design and Technology at Victoria. He has mentored PGCE students and worked with NQTs and RQTs to develop their teaching practice. He was involved in the development of a new STEM curriculum at Victoria and has delivered training to colleagues about implementing outstanding teaching in Science, Design & Technology and Computing.

Secondary Subject Tutors

Rhydian WatkinsLead Subject Tutor for Mathematics

Rhydian has gained his initial experience within the Outwood Grange Academies Trust. He has worked at the forefront of new teaching techniques developed from the Shanghai Exchange programme implementing and developing his understanding of the mastery style of teaching to promote teaching for understanding, through which he is a Secondary Teaching for Mastery Specialist in the UK. His work has involved working across schools to develop and improve the outcomes of students. Rhydian has experienced two years as a Lead Teacher for Outwood Grange Academy Trust before his role with Nova Education Trust as a Director of Maths. His work across numerous schools in developing teaching and learning has been crucial in promoting rapid and sustained progress. Last year was spent as the Senior Director of Maths for Nova and now joins our SCITT team in September to lead the Subject Specific Maths Programme for the SCITT.

Helen GibneyLead Subject Tutor for English

Helen has 17 years of experience teaching English and Drama within secondary schools in Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire. She currently holds responsibility for Key Stage 5 English at Meden School and also has previous experience as a literacy co-ordinator.She has a wealth of experience in ITT and NQT mentoring, since first taking on the role of mentor in 2003. Helen is currently involved in the delivery of training for NQTs for the Nottinghamshire Education Authority.

Belinda BartonLead Subject Tutor for Science

Belinda has almost 10 years of secondary school teaching experience and joined Toot Hill School in 2014 before moving to NUAST in 2018. She is a specialist in Biology (having a degree in Zoology). Belinda has several years of experience mentoring ITT students and NQTs of all Science specialisms. Outside of school she has over 10 years of leadership and mentoring experience and has also delivered training in a leadership programme and public speaking coaching. Belinda has also been involved in work with PSHE departments and was a Head of House.

Jackie MyersLead Subject Tutor for MFL

Jackie has 20 years of experience working and teaching in secondary schools.

As Performance Director of MFL at Toot Hill School, Jackie has developed and led the Languages Departments in a number of large comprehensive schools.

In 2012 Jackie became a Specialist Leader of Education and MFL Lead Practitioner within the Torch Academy Gateway Trust.

As an experienced ITT and NQT mentor, Jackie brings a wealth of knowledge to her role in the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT.

Hannah LawLead Subject Tutor for History

Hannah has 10 years of experience teaching History and Politics within secondary schools in Suffolk and Nottinghamshire. She has been Performance Director at Toot Hill for the past six years and last year took on the role of Subject Director for History for the Nova Education Trust. Hannah has recently taken up the role of Associate School Leader in Teaching and Learning alongside her role as PD of History. Hannah has experience of working with the different History departments across the trust in order to develop teaching and learning. She has a wealth of experience in ITT and NQT mentoring, both in her current and previous posts. Hannah is committed to a lively and interactive style of History teaching which engages pupils and enables the full ability range to make good progress in developing their historical skills and understanding.

Amandeep MadherLead Subject Tutor for Geography and RE

Amandeep qualified as a teacher in 2010. Over the past five years, she has taught in a range of schools from Outstanding to Requiring Improvement. In 2012, she became Curriculum Leader of Geography at Meden School. Throughout her time with the Nova Education Trust, she has been involved in promoting literacy within school and is now the Head of Humanities at Meden School. Amandeep has worked mentoring many ITT students within the Humanities Department.

Sarah LynasLead Subject Tutor for PE

Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching physical education in secondary schools. She currently holds responsibility for Key Stage 4 and 5 vocational qualifications in PE and has previously had had experience of pastoral support and Key Stage 4 achievement as an Achievement Co-ordinator. Sarah has completed an MA in Education with a particular focus on the role mentoring can have on both the well-being and academic achievement of pupils within secondary school.

Michaela MiddletonLead Subject Tutor for Social Sciences

Michaela has been teaching at Toot Hill School since 2014. She became a lead teacher within her department during her second year of teaching and is now Performance Director for Social Sciences. She is also the Gifted and Talented Coordinator at Toot Hill and spends time enhancing the Gifted and Talented Provision for students across the trust. She led Toot Hill into their third accreditation of the National Association for Aspiring Students in Education (NACE) award this year. Michaela has delivered training sessions focused around enhancing the learning for G&T students to experienced teachers, NQT’s and trainee teachers and has a wide range of experience and knowledge within this area.

Arron Surridge-TaylorLead Subject Tutor for D&T

Arron has been teaching for several years in the Nova Education Trust after graduating from University with BSc Secondary Design and Technology Education. Arron teaches a variety of material areas in both food and design technology. In Arron’s current role, he leads teaching of a vocational course to ensure that the curriculum is challenging and engaging for his students. Arron also works as an assistant head of year, working as part of a team to oversee standards, pastoral care and academic progress of a year group. Arron has experience of mentoring and supporting both ITTs and ECTs to deliver high standards in both pastoral care and high quality teaching and learning.

Marc RogersLead Subject Tutor for Business

Marc has 13 years of experience teaching Business and Economics. He started his own training at Toot Hill School as a PGCE student before being employed as a Teacher of Business at Toot Hill the following year. Marc spent a few years as a classroom teacher before taking on whole school responsibility for developing and promoting enterprise among Toot Hill students. Marc is now Head of Department for Business and Economics and has been in this role for five years. Marc has large experience mentoring ITT and NQT students within the Business department.

Chloe LeachLead Subject Tutor for Art

Chloe started her teaching career when she joined Nova in 2014 as an NQT at Toot Hill School, progressing to KS3 co-ordinator of Art and Design. Three years ago, Chloe had the opportunity to start up a department at a brand-new School as Head of Art and Design. Chloe has focused on ensuring all students have an ambitious curriculum to ignite their passion and love of learning, taking them on a fantastic creative journey from year 7 to 11 at The Suthers School. In additional to Head of Art, she is acting Head of Design & Technology and managing Child Development, whilst supporting ECTs in her departments. Chloe has had previous experience with SCITT, delivering Art subject knowledge to Primary trainees and is committed to the investment in the next generation of teachers.

James ConnollyLead Subject Tutor for Computer Science

James has 11 years of experience teaching Computer Science within secondary schools in Nottinghamshire and Middlesbrough. Prior to becoming a teacher James worked as a web designer for a radio station and a design agency. Having progressed into teaching via the SCITT route James has personal experience of the system and the great benefits this opportunity has to offer. He has been involved with the Computer Science side of SCITT for the last 2 years and enjoys building computer systems (most recently a fully working arcade cabinet) in his spare time.

Nova Education Trust

The Nova Education Trust is a dynamic and growing MAT Group based in the East Midlands. Our Trust Group is committed to providing high quality education to all of our students, regardless of their backgrounds. Our track record demonstrates our ability to deliver our core goal, achievement for every child.

Our portfolio of schools includes both secondary and primary schools, working in a range of contexts. In 2012 we founded the Torch Teaching School Alliance, which links 23 schools together sharing effective practice and developing new models for staff development.

In 2013 the work of the TSA was complemented by the introduction of the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT in partnership with the University of Nottingham, providing School Centred Initial Teacher Training and School Direct courses in our schools.

Our values are central to developing a positive ethos throughout our group of schools. This approach is focused on securing success for all our learners and providing them with the very best life opportunities.

We believe nothing is more important than making a difference to children.

We Promote

  • Trust: All stakeholders work together to realise our vision
  • Integrity: All decisions are based on the best interests of our students
  • Mutual Respect: Ensuring a voice for all stakeholders
  • Empathy: Teaching should be well planned, varied and stimulating
  • Self Improvement: A commitment to supporting the development of our staff, students and wider community

Group Ethos

  • High expectations are essential to raising standards
  • Everyone can succeed
  • Barriers to learning must be challenged and overcome
  • Teaching should be well planned, varied and stimulating
  • Learning should be active, focussed and engaged
  • High standards of behaviour are expected at all times
  • Clear lines of accountability exist at all levels
  • Developing staff and students to engage in effective teaching and learning

Securing Success

Our vision is to build capacity for sustained improvement. There are a number of short term strategies that can be initially used to enhance outcomes but it is out view that these need to be supplemented by a process that transforms a school for long term improvement.

This work is centred on transforming a school using our 'Pillars of Success' improvement model. Transformation is achieved through the combination of a number of changes and improvements to each of these pillars within a school:

  • Leadership
  • CPD
  • Curriculum
  • Learning Organisation
  • Care, Support, Guidance
  • Performance Mangement
  • Tracking and Intervention

For further information on the Nova Education Trust, please visit www.novaeducationtrust.net.